Texas School Shooting: Police Were Wrong to Not Breach Classroom Doors, 'There's No Excuse,' Official Says
Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) Col. Steven McCraw admitted he doesn’t know how many of the 19 children and two students slain at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde died because of the nearly hour-long delay.
A Texas state official said 19 law enforcement officers waited for room keys and tactical equipment before trying to enter the barricaded classroom where an 18-year-old armed with an assault rifle targeted elementary students and their teachers on Tuesday.
Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) Col. Steven McCraw admitted he doesn’t know how many of the 19 children and two students slain at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde died because of that delay.
"The on-scene commander at that time believed that it had transitioned from an active shooter to a barricaded subject," McCraw said. "From the benefit of hindsight where I'm sitting now, of course it was not the right decision. It was the wrong decision. There's no excuse for that.”
Officers first arrived at the school at 11:44 a.m. and a tactical team finally entered the room using keys from a janitor and killed the gunman at 12:50 p.m. Children inside the room repeatedly called 911 and pleaded for help, McCraw said.
“The belief was there isn't anybody living anymore and that the subject is now trying to keep law enforcement at bay or entice them to come in" and shoot them, he said.
McCraw also revealed that there was no school resource officer on campus when the gunman walked into the school without being stopped by anyone. On Wednesday, McCraw had said an Uvalde ISD police officer was the first person to engage the shooter.
The damning revelations come after officials initially praised law enforcement response to the shooting and said the devastation could have been worse were it not for their actions
“The reason it was not worse is because law enforcement officials did what they do. They showed incredible courage running towards gunfire trying to save lives,” said Texas Gov. Greg Abbott Wednesday.
Law enforcement experts have called the response to Tuesday’s shooting a failure, which can only compound devastated families’ grief. A new published report says when the border patrol SWAT team rushed to the school, they were ordered by local police to hold back and were not permitted to go after the gunman, who had by then already opened fire on the students inside the school. It took about 40 to 45 minutes before the SWAT team was permitted to make their move.
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